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MOLTING OF FUNCTIONALLY MATURE MALE CHIONOECETES BAIRDI RATHBUN (DECAPODA: MAJIDAE) AND CHANGES IN CARAPACE AND CHELA MEASUREMENTS

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ABSTRACT Laboratory observations with functionally mature male Chionoecetes bairdi proved that they can molt. There were 46 males with carapace widths (CW) < 119 mm that copulated with primiparous mates in the laboratory and then molted. Two of these males molted twice. After the molt the majority of these 46 males were not as large as males found grasping multiparous mates in nature. There were 23 males 110-139-mm CW that copulated with multiparous females in the laboratory and were held to see if they would molt. Seventy-four percent of them initiated molting after 26-27 months of captivity. The results of this experiment suggest that molting commonly occurs in males 110-130-mm CW, which are potential recruits to the fishery, and large enough to copulate with multiparous mates. Information on morphometric changes in carapace width and chela height is provided for the molting crabs.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724095x00091
1995-01-01
2016-12-03

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